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The 2020 Elections Are Boosting Crypto Prediction Markets

In just over three weeks, the trading volume on decentralized betting platform Polymarket went from zero to almost $3 million. 

As of Monday, Polymarket’s “Will Trump win the 2020 U.S. presidential election?” had over $2.8 million worth of bets placed, with each bet (for possible answers “yes” or “no”) costing less than a dollar. The platform allows users to place crypto bets on highly-debated current events and public topics including politics, pop culture, business and health, according to its website. 

Polymarket is a non-custodial platform, meaning it does not hold or store user-funds, and bets can be placed in the dollar-backed stablecoin USDC. 

Polymarket Trading Volume Growth

Prediction markets, where users can bet on the outcome of future events, are a key application of decentralized finance (DeFi), which allows users to conduct financial transactions on a blockchain without a middleman.

Elections and political debates attract high numbers of traders to these platforms; decentralized prediction platform Augur launched five years ago, but struggled to take off until U.S. midterm election betting gave it a modest push in 2018. 

“To me, the presidential election is the Super Bowl for prediction markets. Every single one is experiencing a massive uptick in volume. It’s only natural that crypto follows suit,” David Liebowitz, vice president of business development at decentralized encyclopedia Everipedia, told CoinDesk via Telegram.  

Elections also seem to attract new users to crypto betting platforms.  

“There are people who are using it, who aren’t even crypto native users. They don’t even fully understand crypto but they’re still using Polymarket,” said Shayne Coplan, founder of Polymarket.

Just over a week ago, Polymarket announced it had secured $4 million in its latest round of funding, attracting high profile investors from the industry. Augur launched its new and improved Version 2 in July of ...

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